The secret to making something great

The secret to making something great: The Great Works

Great work like this doesn’t happen by accident

The secret to making something great isn’t really a secret. It’s just something we tend to forget or chose to ignore.

Until we can’t any longer…

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Last month my wife and I helped our youngest son move into his dorm to start life at a new university. He’s in the film program there and for orientation, that department invited the new students and their parents to tour the studio and to hear from various professors.

One of the faculty relayed to the students the secret to making something great. He didn’t build it up as some earth-shattering revelation. He merely noted the following:

Exceptional people, those who produce the best work in their fields, tend to do the work no one else is willing to do and to work even when they don’t feel like it.

Ugh. This secret to making something great hit home. His words made me realize that I do want to make great work. But too often I prefer to do what others do and make my creative efforts mostly when I’m in the mood.

Beyond what he said, however, lies a deeper question, perhaps the underlying secret to making something great:

What do I — what do you — want more: Comfort or our best work?

Great work requires hard work. It’s that simple.

It’s just not easy.

Do the work no one else is willing to do and work even when you don’t feel like it.

Let’s go do some great work.